You’ve probably seen these pastel-toned, mini-sized premixed cocktails (typically in a little, hat-box-looking tote package) at the grocery store. Cocktails by Jenn seem to be on sale everywhere. With enticing Lemon Drop, Cosmo, Appletini, and “Tropical Blue Lagoon” (to round out the color palette), look good on the shelf. But how do they taste?
Unlike most of these types of drinks, Cocktails by Jenn are premixed with alcohol, coming in at about 20 percent alcohol: Less than a typical cocktail, but considerably more than a Zima.
I tried two flavors — Appletini and Lemon Drop — both available in new 750ml bottles. Both were plenty drinkable, but neither was impressive to the point where it matched the real thing. (Though what is a “real” Appletini, anyway?”)
The Lemon Drop is quite straightforward, a burst of lemon followed by a harsh, alcoholic aftertaste. Blend lemon juice, sugar, and some cheap vodka and you’ve got the essence of this drink. Not awful, but you could probably do better by yourself. B
The Appletini flavor was a far bigger disappointment, but for an opposite reason: It simply had no character at all. Any apple tone (even that saccharine flavor of Apple Pucker) is just barely present. Mostly you just get that standard, cheap-vodka flavor, with just a hint of appleness. Try juicing it up with an extra shot of Apple Pucker and you’re in for a better treat… though you could always do that with plain vodka if you wanted. C+
UPDATE July 2009: Cocktails by Jenn appears to be out of business and off the market.